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This week at the Foreign Office

A look at the work of the Foreign Office and its embassies overseas this week.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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Algeria

The Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the wanton act of terrorism carried out in Algeria. He said: “This remains a fluid and evolving situation and many details remain unclear. But the primary responsibility for the tragic events of the last two days rests squarely with the terrorists who chose to attack innocent workers, murdering some and holding others hostage.”

“Our priority remains to identify exactly what has happened to each British national caught up in this incident. We have sent additional staff to Algeria and are in close touch with the Algerian authorities and BP.”

Mali

The UK agreed to the French request for limited military logistic support to their deployment to Mali. Foreign Office Minister Mark Simmonds updated Parliament saying: “With the international community, the UK has been concerned by the potential for terrorist groups to establish a safe haven in northern Mali which, if left unchecked, could pose a threat to Europe and the UK, as well as our interests in the region.”

European Foreign Ministers agreed to establish an EU Training Mission to Mali. Foreign Office Minister David Lidington said: “The training mission will be time-limited with a clear mandate to advise and train Malian armed forces: it will not be engaged in combat.”

G8 Political Directors expressed grave concern at the situation in Mali and welcomed the French military action.

Australia

The Foreign Secretary William Hague visited Australia and gave a speech about the UK and Australian economic and political partnership. The Foreign Secretary also addressed a business audience at the Australian British Chamber of Commerce.

Syria

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt expressed his shock at the appalling news of two explosions in Aleppo University. He said: “These brutal attacks highlight yet again the urgent need for a political transition and an end to the violence, and for those responsible for these acts to be held to account.”

Jakarta

Jakarta is experiencing widespread flooding across the city which has caused fatalities and the displacement of over 15,000 citizens. The British Embassy is currently closed but we continue to provide emergency consular assistance to British nationals.

Climate Change

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt spoke at a conference which launched a 3-year initiative aimed at developing legislation to tackle climate change.

Also this week

Published 18 January 2013